Duty of care

Everyone has a duty of care to make sure their workplaces are safe.

Everyone has a duty of care, a responsibility, to make sure that they and other people are safe in the workplace.

If you are an employer, or PCBU, you have the main responsibility for the health and safety of everyone in your workplace, including visitors. This is your 'primary duty of care'.

If you’re self-employed, you’re responsible for your own safety and the safety of others.

You owe this duty of care when, as a PCBU, you:

  • direct or influence work carried out by a worker
  • engage or cause to engage a worker to carry out work (including through sub-contracting)
  • have management or control of a workplace.

You must ensure that:

  • the work environment, systems of work, machinery and equipment are safe and properly maintained
  • chemicals are used, handled and stored safely
  • adequate workplace facilities are available
  • information, training, instruction and supervision are provided
  • workers’ health and workplace conditions are monitored
  • any accommodation you provide to your workers is  safe.

As a PCBU, you always need to try to eliminate, so far as is reasonably and practicable, any health and safety risks in the workplace.

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